Out to Get You: 13 Tales of Weirdness and Woe
by Josh Allen ill by Sarah J Coleman
Librarians who work with children know that kids love scary stories: chilling tales reread until the spines break and pages fall out. They constantly ask for more fright-filled short stories. More. More. More.
Maintaining a selection of hair-raising tales is a never-ending task. Finding middle grade narratives with just the right amount of fright factor, but not veering into gristly gore can be a challenge.
Josh Allen has this covered with Out to Get You: 13 Tales of Weirdness and Woe. Stories are quick reads: tightly structured tales told briefly in a few pages and concluding with a macabre twist.
Each begins with an everyday encounter. Then the ordinary takes an unexpected turn and young readers wonder what will happen next. Warning: "what happens next" is not a "happily ever after." Example: There's a stain on the school cafeteria floor. When a stray dime lands on the spot, the coin instantly vanishes. What happens when something or someone much larger accidentally lands on the stain?
Pay attention to the female characters. The girls are rarely helpless victims. They are often the perpetrators of some horrifying stuff. They can deliver their own forms of justice. Lesson: Don't mess with a smart girl!
Sarah J. Coleman's full-page eerie black ink drawings and a glow-in-the-dark cover complete the package.
Librarians would do well to order several copies of these middle-grade tales of terror. Satisfy young appetites for horror-lite with these creeptastic tales.